Crimes

Crimes in the United States

Crimes are defined by legislative bodies at both the federal and state levels. Only a very small proportion of criminal cases (something under two percent) are federal, because the federal government has limited police power. Rather, the prosecution of criminal cases is largely a responsibility of state government and its local units. There is consensus that many kinds of conduct should be prohibited, thus the criminal codes of the fifty states closely resemble one another. At the same time, some variation exists since each state may exercise sovereign power. As a result, lawful behavior in one state may be criminal if undertaken in another. Occasionally, state criminal jurisdiction overlaps with federal jurisdiction, in which case both levels may prosecute, although federal-state cooperation occurs with such multiple prosecutions.

Contents

Criminal Intent

Here, the coverage of “malice” is part of the common law of mens rea.

Property Crimes

Criminal trespass

In this subsection, the Encyclopedia is focusing on its frequent and controversial use as a proxy crime for drug dealing in public housing.

Drug Crimes

Drug Laws

Some Drug laws that increase punishments based on the location of the drug possession or sale (e.g., “drug-free school zones”) — laws that often have disparate impacts based on race and class.

Crimes of Sex and Sexual Violence

In this subsection, the Encyclopedia has included expanded coverage of “acquaintance rape”.

Defenses

New topics include the “battered spouse defense” and “Stand Your Ground” laws.

Hot Topics

These include the legalization of marijuana, racial bias in police stop-and-frisk actions, and mandatory minimum sentences.

Drug Related Crime in the Criminal Justice System

Crimes in State Statute Topics

Investigating Particular Crimes

This section examines the Investigating Particular Crimes subject in its related phase of trial. In some cases, other key elements related to trials, such as personal injury, business, and criminal litigation, are also addressed.

Crimes and offenses (criminal convictions, eligibility for public service, accountability of public servants in criminal liability) in relation to Public Officers

Find out in this American legal Encyclopedia the information on Crimes and offenses (criminal convictions, eligibility for public service, accountability of public servants in criminal liability) in relation to Public Officers (and in the context of local government law).

Finding the law: Crimes in the U.S. Code

A collection of general and permanent laws relating to crimes, passed by the United States Congress, are organized by subject matter arrangements in the United States Code (U.S.C.; this label examines crimes topics), to make them easy to use (usually, organized by legal areas into Titles, Chapters and Sections). The platform provides introductory material to the U.S. Code, and cross references to case law. View the U.S. Code’s table of contents here.

Crimes

In Legislation

Crimes in the U.S. Code: Title 26, Subtitle F, Chapter 75, Subchapter A

The current, permanent, in-force federal laws regulating crimes are compiled in the United States Code under Title 26, Subtitle F, Chapter 75, Subchapter A. It constitutes “prima facie” evidence of statutes relating to Tax Administration (including crimes) of the United States. The reader can further narrow his/her legal research of the general topic (in this case, Criminal Law and Criminal Offenses of the US Code, including crimes) by chapter and subchapter.

Crimes

In Legislation

Crimes in the U.S. Code: Title 18, Part I

The current, permanent, in-force federal laws regulating crimes are compiled in the United States Code under Title 18, Part I. It constitutes “prima facie” evidence of statutes relating to Crimes and Criminal Law (including crimes) of the United States. The readers can further narrow their legal research on the topic by chapter and subchapter.

Resources

Notes and References

  1. Definition of Crimes from the American Law Dictionary, 1991, California

Further Reading

Crimes: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Crimes. This part provides references, in relation to Crimes, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Crimes by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Crimes and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Crimes or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Crimes and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Crimes. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Crimes should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Crimes when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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